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[1992-09-26-WCW-Saturday Night] Dustin Rhodes vs Jake Roberts

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If all wrestling matches were this basic, but executed those basics so well, I'd be happy with all the wrestling I watch. There's nothing really extraordinary about the layout, but the standard opening babyface armbar stuff feels way more important than it normally does in these matches because of Jake's selling. I love the fakeout knee injury to turn the tide spot pretty much every time it's done. Jake wins cleanly with the DDT, but Dustin looks good for pushing him so far. Good stuff.

 

Jake's interview after the match where he talks about the other programs in the company besides his own tells me Watts had big plans for him until he self-destructed yet again.

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This is a text book Jake match. Don't get me wrong Dustin brought a lot to the table too. Just a basic match that told a story. I wish these guys could have worked a program. I also like Bruno's line when Ross mentioned how Jake tricked Dustin with the leg injury. While Bruno goes Dustin wasn't tricked, it was the ref. In one line Bruno saved our babyface from becoming stupid. I wish Jake could have hung around. Their was a ton of faces for him to work with.

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Very much a Jake match, in that nothing is spectacular, but the basic basis of the match makes it very good simply thanks to Jake's psychology and selling. Really good stuff. Jake in WCW could have been a long term big time main event player...

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Feel the same as the comments above. Dustin looked to have advantage working the arm but Roberts was too crafty in the end when he fakes the knee injury to his advantage. He did a couple squats just because he is a swell guy. Nice victory for Roberts on his way to face Sting.

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1992 WCW sure liked your standard mechanical, meat & potatoes matches (thinking of AA vs Windham and most MVC stuff), which is the type of stuff I feel should be a part of every card. I didn't think that is particular match was as good as the AA/Windham match from June. I thought Duston was loads better in this match than Jake. Jake probbaly came up with the layout, but Dustin was better at execution. You could make the case that Jake fed him better as Jake forced him to peper in rights during his armbar stretch, but it is credit to both of them that beginning shine portion was well-done. I thought after the trick knee, which I like, that it kinda dropped off a cliff. Jake stopped selling the arm. His offense was pretty boring as he went between the throat and the leg. Dustin's comeback was pretty sweet and the type of fiery comback you like to see. The crowd really seemed to be behind Dustin even though there was some Jake towel-wavers. Jake going over clean was great. I think it shows the value of a upcoming white meat babyface to a roster as they can absorb losses from heels above them and still look good from just hanging with them. Great booking and a good match is a rare treat from WCW. :)

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I liked this a LOT, actually. Not only did Jake execute the phony knee injury well, the punch he levels Dustin with is spectacular--Michael Hayes-esque, I daresay. That fakeout gets a LOT of heat from the Center Stage crowd, and yet a few seconds later the "D-D-T" chants start. I think it's pretty awesome that Jake could draw that kind of reaction, honestly. I don't know if a finisher can get as over as Jake's DDT did, in a world of a bunch of slam variations and a few submissions finishing people off. Anyway, as everyone else said, this is basic, but it all works and all makes sense. Dustin makes a good comeback but bulldogs Jake too close to the ropes, and during his celebration Jake gets a kick to the back and levels him with the DDT for the clean victory. The way Dustin has been used recently, the "push a guy hard and then start jobbing him" method of booking isn't exactly a recent WWE invention.

Best Jake match in a long while--it wasn't nearly as heated or intense but it may have been better worked than even the Savage bouts.

 

Ths must be the TV taping that Butch Reed no-showed. Jake promises that Barbarian will have a partner.

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Not much to add here that hasn't been covered. This is about as well done as a basic match can be. Dustin looks good working on Jake's arm, and you can see the potential for him to be a top babyface. Bruno's commentary is the worst thing going here, as I've never been a fan of his interviews in podcasts and its no more tolerable here. I loved Jake faking the knee injury, which I think was also pulled off by Arn earlier in the year, and perhaps also against Dustin. Definitely not enough of that by heels these days. Jake's performance here is really heel 101 with his mannerisms, timing, interaction with the ref and overall presentation of his character. Its a damn shame he flamed out in WCW so quickly.

 

***

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1992 WCW sure liked your standard mechanical, meat & potatoes matches (thinking of AA vs Windham and most MVC stuff), which is the type of stuff I feel should be a part of every card. I didn't think that is particular match was as good as the AA/Windham match from June. I thought Duston was loads better in this match than Jake. Jake probbaly came up with the layout, but Dustin was better at execution. You could make the case that Jake fed him better as Jake forced him to peper in rights during his armbar stretch, but it is credit to both of them that beginning shine portion was well-done. I thought after the trick knee, which I like, that it kinda dropped off a cliff. Jake stopped selling the arm. His offense was pretty boring as he went between the throat and the leg. Dustin's comeback was pretty sweet and the type of fiery comback you like to see. The crowd really seemed to be behind Dustin even though there was some Jake towel-wavers. Jake going over clean was great. I think it shows the value of a upcoming white meat babyface to a roster as they can absorb losses from heels above them and still look good from just hanging with them. Great booking and a good match is a rare treat from WCW. :)

What the fuck was I smoking? This match was all Jake and he truly took this match which always was teetering on being dull to something worth watching. In the hands of lesser work, we would all be snoozing, but then again Dustin probably would not be having this style match. Dustin is not that proficient in working holds; he tends to sit more than wrench, but it is Jake's selling (biting his finger) and his movement (missing punch, taking a punch; rolling to outside -> getting yanked back in) that has this hold weight with audience. I liked the use of the trick knee to break Dustin's momentum and finally give his arm a break. I am still going to harp on him for not selling the arm. It was the crux of the first half of the match and he invested so much in it. It felt wasted and like a reset. The heat segment was also good and solid built Jake up as methodical and vicious while Dustin was fiery. Dustin's comeback allowed him to show some of his personality punctuated with a sweet bulldog. I am not a huge fan of the "I thought I won, only to get kicked in the back". At the end of the day, Dustin was a solid upper midcarder, but Jake was supposed to be a main even heel. No doubt, he should be eating the DDT. One of my favorite Jake matches that showcases him really well while letting Dustin look good.

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Reallllly liked the arm work segment. Jake's selling was great. All the little stuff he did to put over the arm work was so simple that it makes you wonder why more people don't do it. Good match.

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I admit that my first priority when I watched this match was to see how Bruno would do as a commentator in WCW. I'm fairly sure that he had no interest in a full-time role with any promotion by this time, but he was good enough to be a solid color guy, maybe a notch below Jesse, but a good fit with JR. He put over Dustin's work on Jake's arm beautifully, and he was the one who warned the audience that Jake was playing possum when he supposedly hurt his knee.

 

I'm now more convinced than ever that Bruno was half-assing it or worse when he was with Vince and Jesse on Superstars, and probably before that on Championship as well, because he was so disgusted by the WWF product. Is that unprofessional? Yes, but given how he felt about steroids and how David's push (the reason he came back in the first place) was stop-and-start at best and almost entirely depended on his own willingness to get back in the ring, I can't entirely blame him.

 

This match was set up terribly by JR. There was supposedly an issue between these two because of an incident at the Omni, but of course there was no footage to back this up, and this certainly wasn't wrestled like a grudge match at any point. Dustin's work on Jake's arm took up the first half, and Jake's work on Dustin's throat took up most of the second half until they were ready to go home. There wasn't much, if any, fire from either man over and above the usual, so why make a big deal about an incident 97% of the audience will never even see?

 

I liked the finish a lot, with Jake jumping Dustin from behind, then putting the DDT on him. I also liked Dustin countering the DDT with a short clothesline, which was Jake's prelude to the DDT for years.

 

The postmatch was great as well, with JR wanting to stay as far away from the snake (which should have had a name) as possible. Jake makes sure to promote Havoc before addressing the tag match and Barby's lack of a partner. I thought it was going to be Jake himself until I remembered that Tony Atlas came in around this time. Would this have been his debut?

 

It certainly seems like they may have been setting up programs for Simmons with both Reed and Jake, not to mention Cactus. In fact, I'm wondering if Jake and Reed's departures might have played a role in WCW taking the belt off of Simmons, especially since the only other truly viable challenger available (Rude) also got hurt around this time. It certainly was better for business to run a Sting-Vader World title program than Simmons against........Arn? Pillman? Austin?

 

By the way, the bag at ringside makes no sense if Jake isn't going to put the snake on his opponent after the match. If a cobra was legitimately too dangerous to do it with, they should have brought back the python. I've said it before: Watts was a bullheaded old fart who at times couldn't tell gold in his pocket when he had it. I disagree with most of you; Jake wouldn't have been very much in WCW even if he'd stayed. Watts would have needed to embrace the character which Jake had created for Vince in full instead of trying to turn him back into just another tough-guy wrestler like almost everyone else in WCW, and there was no chance of that, as both Watts and Jake have admitted.

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Man, I am all over the place with this match

 

Dustin Rhodes vs Jake The Snake Roberts - WCW Saturday Night 9/26/92

 

Terrific traditional pro wrestling match! Bruno said he was impressed with how mature Dustin was and I want to echo those sentiments. Dustin looked like a seasoned veteran in there. There was a point where Jake had him in a wristlock and he just threw Jake down. That takes gumption and aggression. Dustin came to play. I loved Jake throwing rights missing and Dustin tagging him back. They did such a great job working the arm. They kept the match moving back and in out of the arm work with the arm work being a touchstone. Jake selling by biting his fingers and rolling to the outside was great. Incredibly effective opening half even without many highspots it was very engaging. Jake does the whole trick knee and eventually catches Dustin with a right when the ref was separating them. I want to give kudos to Bruno here. JR says Jake outsmarted Dustin. Bruno points out Jake outsmarted the ref, Dustin was trying to keep the pressure on Jake and was not fooled. Great job Bruno! Jake does a great job focusing on Dustin's throat once he throws him to the outside. Everything was focused on the throat. In a sleeper, Dustin armdrags out and Jake clotheslines him right in the throat. At one point Jake has to use his bad arm and he wrings it. Love it! Jake signals for the DDT, Dustin reverses into a short arm clothesline. Jake tries to maintain his advantage but Dustin explodes out of the corner with a lariat. Big pop! I like how Dustin earned this comeback. BULLDOG! Too close to the ropes. Dustin has think he has won it. Kick to the back and DDT 1-2-3!

 

Dustin was in that prime young up and comer spot where you believe he can get the upset but it is not the end of the world if he loses. Great Jake match very cerebral and lo-fi. Dustin looked wise beyond his years. Not in love with the I thought I won only to get DDT'd finish, but still a fantastic match and an excellent showcase of pro wrestling fundamentals. ***3/4

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